Anxiety affects a wide cross-section of people from various walks of life and can be a symptom of or the cause of other health conditions. Classified as a mental illness, it affects over 40 million adults, over 18 years old, in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and costs the country over 40 billion dollars every year. Many or unaware of what anxiety is and thus they ignore its symptoms but understanding it makes it easier to diminish or eliminate its effects on our lives.
While those statistics might sound alarming, it should be of more concern that only one-third of the people who suffer from anxiety actually get treated. Whether that is as a result of the cost of healthcare or not, it has been acknowledged that anxiety is highly treatable. What’s more, it is widely accepted that many sufferers can find relief in several natural anxiety remedies.
But what are these remedies and do they really work? While research on many of these home remedies is ongoing, there is no denying the reports of many people who swear by the relief obtained from using them to combat the symptoms of anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, and, whether or not you have gotten medical treatment, here are 10 of the best natural anxiety remedies that you could consider trying.
There are a number of plants that have been in use for centuries to treat disorders of the mind including anxiety. With varying potencies, and with many still being studied, you should not just start taking any herbal concoction. Rather, you need to do your own research so that you can find those that are best for you.
Many of these herbal remedies, having been part of ancient medicinal practices, such as Ayurveda, have now been found to help reduce the need for prescription drugs, some of which often produce side effects. However, some of these herbs may also come with their own contraindications, especially if they are taken with other sedatives. For example, some are known for inducing sleep so should not be used with drugs designed to assist with sleeping.
With that being said, the most popular herbs that are proven natural anxiety remedies include lavender, catnip, passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm, kava kava, green tea and ashwaganda. Many of these are taken in the form of herbal teas or supplements, with varying dosages. Some are used both fresh and dried while others may be grounded into powders and made into capsules.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Many people are aware of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids as it relates to heart health and the positive effects on skin and hair. However, it has been found to also be a safe and effective natural anti-anxiety remedy due to its ability to regulate cortisol levels and adrenaline. In addition to fish oil supplements, it can be found in a lot of every day foods, including salmon, tuna, flax seed and walnuts. Including these in a balanced diet is believed to help lower anxiety levels over time.
This salt, which is not really a salt, is another substance that is common among home remedies for anxiety. Used commonly for relaxing baths, Epsom salt helps to replace magnesium in the body, which is often drained away during stressful periods and when adrenaline is high.Magnesium has a calming effect and the fact that Epsom salts helps regulate the body’s levels of this mineral, places it among the best natural anxiety remedies that does not require ingestion
Already present in the body, making up the neurotransmitters of the brain, this amino acid is also believed to be a natural remedy for anxiety and its causes. A number of studies have indicated that the substance reduced stress levels and anxiety in people but not many people are aware of it. Found in common foods such as meat, fish and beans, anxiety sufferers can possibly see benefits by including these in their diet. However, for even better results, natural supplements containing L-lysine can also be bought over the counter and taken.
While it is not advisable to stay exposed to the sun’s rays for a prolonged period, getting daily doses of sunlight for 15 – 20 minutes is highly recommended. The truth is that sunlight provides vitamin D, an essential vitamin that is linked to a decrease in the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The abundance of sunshine in many locations around the world makes it one of the most affordable natural anxiety remedies since it doesn’t cost a thing. Sunlight can be enjoyed in backyards, parks, along the beach or even during a short walk home.
Reduce Caffeine intake
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages due to its ability to aid alertness and delay sleep. However, while this is good for productivity, high levels of caffeine in the body can increase anxiety or the feeling of nervousness. As a result, reducing your caffeine intake is considered to be a natural anti-anxiety fix. Drinking less cups of coffee per day or replacing it with green tea can lower the amount of caffeine intake and, therefore, reduce the onset of anxiety.
A famous study that was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that a prolonged lack of sleep resulted in heightened brain activity akin to the effects of anxiety. It was also determined that people who worried a lot were more likely to experience anxiety from a lack of sleep.
In light of such findings, one of the best natural anxiety remedies is getting a suitable amount of sleep per day. Specialists recommend at least 8 hours’ worth of restful sleep every night and that late night partying, drinking etc. be kept to a minimum.
While many people who smoke say they do so for relaxation, the findings of a groundbreaking study in 2000 that was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that smoking actually triggers anxiety. This is due to the fact that nicotine provides a temporary sense of being relaxed but once it wears off, results in withdrawal symptoms that may lead to stress and anxiety, creating a dependency on nicotine (addiction) in the process.
As a result, it is recommended that people who smoke quit the habit in order to first, end the addiction, and secondly, to reduce their risk of developing anxiety disorders over time.
Having a fit body and mind is more than just a saying as far as home remedies for anxiety are concerned. Research shows that exercising for at least 20 minutes per day raises the body temperature and contributes to the release of endorphins, both of which enhance the mood, induces relaxation and reduces the effects of anxiety. As such, daily workouts which can range from brisk walks and jogging to aerobics and lifting weights, are recommended for natural anxiety relief.